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7 On Your Side Health Alert: Doctors advise people to get flu shot now

FILE-Photo of doctor giving a flu shot (Jason Hoekema/The Brownsville Herald via AP)

Seasons Greetings in Arlington, Virginia and tis the season to share germs and spread the flu.

“I just try to be healthy, take care of my immune system,” said Dr. Rohit Modak, an infectious diseases specialist at Virginia Hospital Center.

But Dr. Modak says that’s not enough.

“The flu shot does not give you influenza; it does not cause the flu,” said Modak.

A common myth cleared up, but it is true that the flu season in Australia is over and the vaccine was only 10 percent effective.

“We don’t know that strain which occurred in Australia is going to be the predominant strain in the United States,” said Modak.

But he says the flu shot protects against multiple strains.

“I’ve had a couple of friends that have gotten sick recently and actually advised that I go get it,” said Kelly Hurley, who lives in Arlington.

Modak advises to get the flu shot soon because prime flu season is just a few weeks away.

But many people still avoid it.

“I usually don’t get it to be honest,” said Cassidy Best, who lives in Germantown, Maryland.

If you avoid the shot, washing your hands is still one of the best ways to prevent getting sick.

We won’t know until the end of the flu season just how effective the vaccine is, but Modak says it could be a deadly year.

“Ten percent is better than zero percent so yeah I still think it’s important,” said Hurley.

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